what is it and can it replace toothpaste and brush

The trend for organics and natural beauty products and tools does not slow down, and even, on the contrary, comes to those areas where, it would seem, there is only a professional approach. It’s about dentistry. Several millennia ago, there was a tool that replaced people with a toothbrush, paste and even an irrigator. It’s about miswak. And now they started talking about him again. Outwardly, miswak is a stick, the tip of which, after chewing, becomes like a brush, this is a kind of analogue of a toothbrush. They are made from the arak tree, better known as the Persian Salvador. They were traditionally used in the Middle East, but over time they have become popular in Asia, and more recently in Europe, America and Canada.

The owner of the clinic Dr. SHIPKOV dental clinic Vladimir Shipkov explains if this trend has a future.

How is miswak useful?

The tradition of using miswak as a hygiene product dates back to ancient times. There is evidence that nomadic tribes used them in the pre-Islamic era. Later, the Prophet Muhammad recommended that all devout Muslims use miswak and do it as often as possible. He motivated this not only by the cleansing and disinfecting properties of the arak, but also by religious implications.

The Persian Salvador tree has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, wound-healing, antifungal and partially analgesic effects. The plant contains a whole range of nutrients. Namely:

  • vitamins: C, PP, E, others;
  • trace elements: calcium, silicon oxide, sulfur, camphor, fluoride;
  • glycosides: salvadoraside, salvadoside;
  • flavonoids: quercetin, rutin;
  • tannins;
  • essential oils.

Getting into the oral cavity in the process of softening the stick and during subsequent cleaning, these substances have a beneficial effect on the tooth enamel, gums and microflora of the oral cavity.

How it works?

For hygiene needs, the roots and branches of Persian Salvador are used. The former are tougher, but contain more nutrients. The latter have a more delicate texture, so they are more suitable for people with sensitive enamel and gum disease. Both are cut into sticks 15-20 centimeters long, and then peel the tip (1-2 centimeters) from the bark. Then it is turned into a brush, simply by chewing. The fibrous structure of wood is ideal for mechanical cleaning of teeth, and a set of useful substances in the fibers serves as both a toothpaste and a rinse aid.

In addition to sticks from Persian Salvador, tinctures and solutions are made. Arak extracts are added to tooth powders, pastes and rinses. They are actively used in pharmacology, in particular to suppress the growth of pathogenic bacteria in candidiasis. The high concentration of tannins in wood eliminates inflammation and stops the bleeding of mucous membranes, fluoride suppresses pathogenic microflora, calcium protects teeth from decay, and silicon oxide has a mild whitening effect.

Can miswak completely replace brush and paste?

Official medicine recognizes the beneficial properties of miswak and confirms them. However, it should be understood that sticks cannot be regarded as a full-fledged alternative to home hygiene products. To replace toothbrushes and toothpastes with them, you should at least consult a dentist. The doctor should choose the optimal length of fibers and their rigidity. He will also tell you how to brush your teeth properly. In addition, only a specialist will be able to see the presence of hidden problems in which the use of sticks can cause harm.

If you want to use miswak instead of a toothbrush, you can do so, but only after consulting your dentist. In this case, start each cleaning by chewing the fibers, and cut off the used ones immediately after the procedure.

Cleansing with miswak should be done at least twice a day: in the morning and in the evening, and preferably after every meal. But even regular and thorough exercise does not negate the need for professional hygiene and regular check-ups at the dentist. Visit your dentist at least every six months.

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